A Long Fatal Love Chase Essay Research

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A Long Fatal Love Chase Essay, Research Paper A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May AlcottLouisa May Alcott’s background influenced her to write the tragedy A Long Fatal Love Chase. Oneimportant influence on the story was her father’s role as a leading transcendentalist (Doner 342). Transcendentalism states that society is a necessary evil (Clendenning 371). Simi-larly, RosamondVivian, the main character in the book, states her opinion of society when she says: “Law and custom Iknow nothing of, public opinion I despise, and shame and fear I defy ” (8). In addition to beliefs,another influence on the story was the many jobs that Alcott held. Besides being an author, she was alsoa nurse and seamstress at one time or another. By comparison, Rosamond becomes a seamstress

to affordfood and board after she runs from Tempest with no money (94). Later, she joins a convent and becomes anurse when a conta-gious fever breaks out in the town (124). Perhaps the most important influence on thestory is that she was a supporter of the Temperance movement and women!’s suffrage. Among other things, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the National Woman’sSuffrage Associa-tion believed in equality between men and women (Scott 389). Likewise, Rosamond, thepro-tagonist, is a woman who is characterized as fearless, ethical, and competent compared to the maleantagonist Phillip Tempest. This background, together with a believable plot, convincingcharacterization, and important literary devices enables Louisa May Alcott in A Long Fatal Love Chase

todevelop the theme that love is a fatal obsession. The structure of the novel is cleverly used by Alcott to keep the reader hooked. The openingsituation is used to describe the circumstances of Rosamond Vivian’s and Phillip Tem-pest’s lives. Thefirst scene portrays Rosamond as a beautiful and restless young woman who is living with her grandfatherin seclusion. By writing Rosamond’s thoughts, “I shall do something desperate if this life is notchanged soon. It gets worse and worse and I often feel as if I’d gladly sell my soul to Satan for a yearof freedom,” Alcott is able to show how vulnerable and what easy prey she would make to a man likeTempest (3). She also uses the opening scene to give the reader a clear picture of how Tempest thinksand feels. It is obvious

that he only considers people as entertainment when Alcott writes: “Most menwould have been touched by the inno-cent confessions of the girl [Rosamond], but this man’s heart hadgrown hard with years of selfishness and he merely enjoyed her as he would h!ave done a lovely flower, an exciting book, a passionate song” (9). Following the opening situation, thegenerating circumstances are used to show how Rosamond’s and Tempest’s lives have been changed by beingmarried and the rea-son that Rosamond decides to run from Tempest. At first it seems that married lifehas changed both of them for the better. Alcott describes Rosamond’s new appearance by writing: a year of love and luxury had ripened her youthful beauty into perfect bloom. Grace-ful by nature, arthad little to do

for her, and, with a woman’s aptitude, she had acquired the polish which society alonecan give She now showed fair promise of becoming all that a deep and tender heart, an ardent soul and agracious nature could make her, once life had tamed and taught her more (43). Also, for the first time Tempest shows real emotions towards someone besides himself and re-morse for hispast sins when he mutters: “I wish to heaven I had found this girl ten years ago and saved myself fromtreachery for which I never can atone” (45). Though it seems that eve-rything is perfect, the generatingcircumstances also show that Tempest’s old ways have not completely changed. When Rosamond hears a noisewhile she is sleeping, she wakes up and goes to the head of the stairs and hears voices. After